Jan Welters: Profile
Not being intimately familiar with the work of Jan Welters, it was easy to have an open mind about what was waiting behind the cover. Welters is not the stereotypical photographer you normally relate to with eponymous titles of this genre, especially those pertaining to the world of fashion. His work is evocative, provocative, and simple (in terms of looks) and exposes the type of man he is and how he interprets fashion.
Jan Welters: Profile is a personally curated collection of mostly portraits, primarily in black and white and so very different from the run of the mill fashion photography we have grown so accustomed to seeing via magazines and the Internet. His work is, in a way so very untarnished by any type of celebrity, which allows the viewer to see models we all may know by name, some we don’t, and celebrities we know by name but have rarely seen in this sort of natural and seemingly unplanned state, whether outdoors or in a studio. If one had to use a single word to describe the work of Welters it would be pure.
More than the majority are portraits, but some are photos that force you to stare at them because of their magical quality or their raw but simple beauty. If you are looking for a glossy fashion photo book filled with “Vogue-ish” drama and accompanying set ups, make up, and retouching, then this is a book you can avoid.
If you wish to see one man’s personal and individual take on beauty and fashion then you have found your heaven. In so many images, Welters manages to make you mentally construct a story about what you’re looking at as well do a double take when seeing faces you do know but that you’ve just never seen so nakedly exposed to the lens.
The takeaway here is simply that this book can easily straddle the genres of photography as well as fashion photography since the subjects involved in fashion play a secondary role in the total image set before you.